'House Of Gucci' feels like a lost puppy at a few points during its whopping 2 hour 40 minute run-time, and it even has you questioning its genre at others, but the project as a whole is strong enough and entertaining enough to make for a fabulous visit to the cinema.
It's not an easy task to create a cinematic event out of a situation such as this. Many things are to be taken into consideration – casting, tone, level of humour, the approach to the roles. It's hard to say whether the production team got all of these things correct. But it's easy to say that outside of discussions around historical accuracy in particular, 'House Of Gucci' is a delightful watch, and it's also really beautiful to look at.
A few of its cast members have a role to play (pun not intended) in its likeability. Lady Gaga leads the pack as Patrizia Reggiani, in a performance so charming and so thick with nuance and flavour, there's almost no room for improvement here. Her alluring ways, at first seemingly an innocent attraction tactic but later down the track perhaps charged with something a little more sinister, are wonderfully executed, as is, naturally then, the growth and development of the character. I was, for the most part, satisfied with how much of her story I was able to bear witness to as a viewer, but a little more of her motivation and her methods in lieu of some of the slower moments of 'House Of Gucci' would've brought the final product to a new level.
Adam Driver is. . . Well, he's fine. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here and say, perhaps the real-life Maurizio Gucci wasn't a particularly riveting person in his day-to-day. Perhaps that's what Adam is going for in his portrayal. If that's the case, he nails it. Adam's contribution is not shocking by any means – on the contrary, the chemistry between Maurizio and Patrizia feels legitimate and their scenes together are pretty damn electric, which is a pleasant surprise given their apparent (through 'Gucci' press interviews) total lack of chemistry as real-life humans Adam Driver and Lady Gaga. There's not much else to say on Adam's Maurizio. He played the role and he was there and good on him.
Performances by Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons as Aldo Gucci and Rodolfo Gucci respectively are effective enough – Aldo's embarrassment toward his son Paolo is palpable and it's clear that he's incredibly wary of how the company is viewed by the public. Jeremy as Rodolfo, though short-lived in the film, is also a welcome addition. Both actors present and inject a level of comedy into the film which doesn't overpower anything – however not all cast members here achieve this.
Jared Leto's Paolo Gucci is for want of a more dignified term completely bat-sh.t crazy, for better AND for worse. There's no denying this man is a chameleon, and his comedic interjections as the black sheep of the Gucci family are as cringeworthy as they are hysterical. He provides entertainment and relief in the form of laughter, however this chaotic energy juxtaposed with the tone and pacing of some of the other moments in the film is a leading contributor in 'House Of Gucci''s ongoing identity crisis.
There's an argument here that a film can touch on more than just one genre – some of Hollywood's greats have been able to do this with great success. Evidently there's a process behind it, though, because unfortunately, 'House Of Gucci' is not one of them.
In the thick of its sexy, edgy moments I wanted to stay right where I was – in all the mystery, the sassy glares and thumping music, and I was at times convinced I was going to, but just as I began to get comfortable, I veered into a slapstick comedy film, right before diving headlong into a rose-coloured love story.
The aforementioned gripes I have with 'House Of Gucci', though passionately stated, still aren't enough to dampen my good time with this film. Hey, I told you at the start that it's a delightful watch. Free of expectations I just know I'd be able to enjoy myself much, much more on a second viewing, though – so perhaps this is my warning to you: Don't expect a slick, well-rounded runway presentation of a film. Instead, get your popcorn and drinks ready, settle in, and prepare for a bit of loveable chaos with an incredibly capable lead actress steering the ship.